To be prepared for a crisis, every prepper must establish goals and make long-term and short-term plans. Steadily, we work on meeting our prepping goals. In this column, the SurvivalBlog editors will share their planned prep activities for the coming week, ranging from healthcare and purchases to property improvements and food storage. We also welcome you to share your planned activities for increasing personal preparedness in the coming week in the Comments. Let’s keep busy and be ready!
Dear SurvivalBlog Readers,
This week, the weather is expected to be warm and sunny. Finally, summer has arrived to the northern portion of the American Redoubt. It is glorious and we are rejoicing to be living mostly outdoors! Our family has no off-ranch obligations this week. Therefore, Lily and the children, specifically, can dedicate the whole week to prepping activities. Hooray!
Ranch Infrastructure Maintenance and Projects
Jim will continue the plumbing and electrical projects.
In The Garden
We must complete the garden planting this week. All hands will be on deck.
Lily will continue weeding, organically fertilizing (with our composted cow manure) and mulching the strawberry patch.
Barns, Sheds, Coops and Corrals
Lily and the children also need to finish cleaning stalls in the barn and the small-hoofed animals shed.
Our horses need to be summer broken and exercised. One of our favorite horses has already been summer broken, but the others also need to be. A farrier will be coming to trim hooves soon.
Outdoor Skills Acquisition
Lily and the children plan to practice their boat safety and paddling skills in the river that flows through the ranch.
Our younger children need to practice fire building and cooking over the open campfire.
As time permits, we plan to study the topographical map of our area and pick a place to take a bushwhacking hike to practice orienteering and to work on our endurance. In so doing we always need to assess the items packed and carried in each child’s backpack for survival purposes in case something happens.
Whenever we go out hiking, especially in the early summer, we work on learning to identify all plants and trees we see. Often, we discuss their medicinal and edible attributes. We all love seeing the new spring growth of plants, flowers and trees in our forests. We also take great joy in listening to and identifying by voice the many species of birds that take up their summer residence here.
This is the week to celebrate the two day Holiday of Pentecost/Feast of Weeks/Shavuot. This is the week when our Lord God gave the Law/Torah to the Israelite children at Mount Sinai and then two thousand years later, He poured out His Holy Spirit on all Believers (Acts 1:4 and Acts 2:1-4) in Jesus, in Jerusalem 40 days after His Ascension into heaven, but 50 days from the second day of Passover. The counting of the fifty days from the second day of Passover is called the Counting of the Omer. Shavuot is the celebration to reawaken and strengthen personal relationships with God by rededication to the observance of the study of Torah. (The Hebrew name for the Five Books of Moses).
Passover freed God’s people from physical bondage, but the giving of the Torah on Shavuot redeemed us spiritually from our bondage to idolatry and immorality. And the giving of the Holy Spirit in our hearts was given to counsel and guide us and was given in fulfillment of Jeremiah’s 31:31 prophecy. Our family will celebrate this holiday by having a partial night watch/sleepout by the campfire in which we will read aloud the scriptures from of the books of Exodus, Leviticus, Ruth, and Acts, and by praying that the Lord would continually fill us with His Holy Spirit and will continually counsel/teach us His perfect way.
Lord willing, these are our plans for the week. May you all have a blessed and productive week.
The Latimer Homestead is looking forward to time late in the week and through the weekend with family and friends, so we will not have much time to do prepping except early in the week. Before the gathering, we will make progress on planting our poultry garden, do some harvesting of early crops, bake freshly ground whole grain breads, replant what the rabbit ate, finish the garden water system, and smoke some beef bacon that we have curing.
Feed For Livestock
We plan to finish planting the last 100 or so linear feet of black-eyed peas/cow peas. Many of the earlier planted seed has already popped up. Also, we will begin planting the black oil sunflowers. Our goal is to get several hundred feet planted this week and the remainder in the following week.
Some of our early crops look like they are about ready, so I think well be harvesting some leaf lettuce, radishes, and sugar peas as well as more chamomile, calendula, cilantro, mint, yarrow, and parsley.
Sarah will grind whole grains and prepare extra bread this week for an increased number of people. It’s her routine to bake three or four different types of bread each week. These include sandwich bread, rye, challah, pugliese, hamburger/hot dog buns, and/or sweet cornbread.
Garden Replanting and Water System
Last week, the visiting rabbit ate the tops of some of our beans and various vegetables. Therefore, we will replant those. Additionally, I need to finish the garden water system.
Smoking Beef Bacon
We are big fans of beef bacon and are experimenting with processes and recipes for smoking our own. We have a bit over six pounds of beef in a sweet, smoky pepper brine that will go into the smoker mid week. The mesquite wood chips are ready. We just need to soak them in advance of starting the smoking process. We’ll turn the smoker on, insert the wood chips, and put the meat into the smoker. We have great expectations for the outcome of this beef bacon! We’ve heard that bacon can be made from a well marbled sirloin roast as and alternative to using a brisket or beef navel cut, so we are giving it a try. We will let you know how it turns out.
Rabbits love newly germinated beans. Old timer trick to stop them from eating your young plants: plant the seed then take tin cans with the bottom & top removed and place around the seed and slightly bare the bottom with soil. The beans will still geminate and the seedlings cannot be eaten by the rabbits. By the time the seedlings reach the top of the can the plant is to biter for the rabbits to eat. Remove the tin can.
Tin cans with the newly designed molded bottoms are somewhat of a challenge to remove the bottom. Older designed tin cans are easier to remove.
Beef bacon sounds very interesting, don’t know how I’ve missed it over the years. Please keep us updated with results and suggestions.
What does the term ‘summer broken’ mean for the horses?
Because we live in snow country, we do not ride our horses in the winter for their safety and ours. Deep snow and icy areas can cause injuries to both parties. Therefore, the horses get a long winter vacation from riding. Come spring they may not wish to come under human control/get back to work, again. They have lots of excited energy, “pretend” to spook easily and are in general very unpredictable. So to summer break them, we need to ground work them for a week or two before getting up on them. We lead them around, the property showing them all the “spooky” areas, tie them up, brush them, clean hooves, love them up, correct them when they don’t give us their full attention, bang things around them, saddle and bridle them and lunge them in the arena in fairly tight circles, asking them to give us their full attention while they walk, trot, canter, step over logs, et cetera. After dominance and compliance/a good working relationship and understanding have been achieved. We mount and ride them on a lunge line for a day or two in the arena. If, after this, they’re behaving well, we’ll trail ride around the property. At this point, we consider them “summer broke” and are willing to take them off property for trail rides.
Horses are prey animals, meaning the can spook at anything. They’re unpredictable at any time, therefore we must always be on high alert when working around them. We are not Adrenalin junkies and value our lives and our horses’ lives. We always want to mitigate all potential danger when working with them. Therefore, we slowly summer break them to keep us all safe.
Reading about your homestead or farm reminds me of my father’s place where we had cows, horses, chickens and goats. Also, gardening was always a big event too. All of that is gone now with the exception of the horses and a very small garden due to my father’s age and health issues. I’m hoping with my sister and her husband moving up there this week that if nothing else the gardening will expand. She loves to grow her own vegetables. She also loves to can foods, make jellies and preserves.
As for me, I hate to sound like a broken record, but I’m still planning on working on developing the perfect sub-sonic 300 Blackout load as well as loading a few hundred rounds of the 125-grain supersonic. Now that I have some rocks I’ll working on my flintknapping skill set that I’m attempting to acquire. The weekend may result in hauling the tractor out to my get away property and plowing the five-acre field one last time for weed control and preparation for planting. I ran out of oxygen absorbers so I need to order some more. I’ve been vacuum sealing rice and beans in Mason jars and adding them to my storage at my get away place. I have county water out there, but I want to look at having a well dug for nothing more than putting a hand pump on it as an emergency backup.
Cleaning up and getting ready to plant the garden. We initially used the garden area to raise a few pigs many years ago and it had a low pig shelter on it. We have gardened around the shelter for years improving the soil significantly and slowly removing most rock. This weekend, we tore down the shelter and I am breaking up that soil for the first time. Using a pick and pulling out numerous large rocks. I think I had forgotten how hard that garden was to put in initally but now I am reminded of all the hours I spent swinging that pick years ago.
I have been in prepper mode for several years, but have had to pay the bills by working six days a week, as has my husband. Still have much in place, 60 rural acres, and an empty, unused RV. I am increasing becoming aware of how vulnerable we are, by ourselves. What about putting it out there for some one to join us? Is it too late? Too risky? A dumb idea? We just don’t have time to keep things up.